Elton John new 2018 remasters shm.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by swintonlion, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Brudr

    Brudr Forum Resident

    West Virginia
    Yes, it is the SHM SACD. I pretty much ignored the 2004 SACD stereo layer as i believe it is the same as the 95 remaster. The DR values for the 2011 SHM SACD ARE;
  2. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Yes, I do commend them for that. I think it's cool. The only caveat is that the singles/Tommy tracks can sound better, and now I crave those in the same sound as the albums - from the master tapes. Maybe, hopefully, someday, they'll release some singles collection. You never know.
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  3. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    Tumbleweed Connection

    Tumbleweed was an album that stirred up the fantasy of the 14-year-old me. I knew Elton was from England but the album was so american. The pictures in the booklet together with the music was like watching a movie.
    It’s so funny with these mini-replicas that they take me back to these days with the cover-art. To this day Tumbleweed Connection is one of my all-time favorite albums and also all-time favorite cover-art.

    Bemagnus, Aug 21, 2019 #765

    In Post # 2756, p. 111, I talked about the music of this nice album (3 songs, in particular), but there are plenty more to explore.
    However now, I will try to include it in the ranking list, which currently looks like this:

    Ranking List (subject to change)

    Empty Sky – Very Good (the best digital version)
    Elton John S/T – Best (second best after SHM-SACD)
    Elton John Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player – Best (the best digital version)
    And Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Best (the best digital version)
    Blues Moves – Best (the best digital version)
    Caribou – Good (the matter of preference: roll-off trebles of SHM vs. heavy brightness of DJM CD)

    “I agree!
    I also would add [to the “Best” category] Captain Fantastic, Honky Chateau and Tumbleweed Connection
    Claus, Sunday at 9:25 AM #2561

    The new SHM of Tumbleweed Connection really shows off the musicianship of the band. Dee Murray's bass playing comes through very nicely along with Caleb Quaye's guitar work throughout with some beautiful arrangements by Paul Buckmaster.
    Particularly "Son of Your Father" and "My Father's Gun" are two highlights that are very well done. Outside of the lead guitar solo and cowbell on "Ballad of a Well Known Gun" the instruments are not outdoing each other or pushed back on the entire album.
    The vocals on the quieter two songs (my opinion) "Love Song" and "Come Down in Time" are extremely nice with more beautiful arrangements.
    "Burn Down the Mission" to end the album had me wishing for more songs to come. All involved on this album did a great job.
    I've liked all I've listened to so far in this series with "Captain Fantastic" and "Tumbleweed Connection" being my favourites to date
    Mike McMann, Aug 18, 2019 #616

    “(how far the mighty have fallen...)
    Got my second batch today. Tonight, I compared the new SHM Tumbleweed Connection with the (very excellent) MFSL. Was hoping and expecting it would be closer but the new one just has an obvious advantage in terms of detail and clarity, especially in the bass and low frequencies! The drums on Amoreena have a visceral impact and sound like real drums. I’m as amazed and perplexed as any others who have heard these - I’m looking forward to hearing from someone a more critical take on these new remasters because I’m having trouble finding much fault.”

    lonelysea, Aug 29, 2019 #1528

    “The MFSL of TC is possibly my favorite Elton John mastering and I still think it sounds fantastic. Fans of a mellower “analog” sound might still prefer it (I’ll be keeping mine), but there’s no denying how great this new one sounds.”
    lonelysea, Aug 29, 2019 #1531

    “As I posted earlier, I directly compared two heavy hitters; the MFSLs of Tumbleweed Connection and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, with the new SHMs. The new discs came out on top for me. Frankly, I was shocked.”
    lonelysea, Sep 3, 2019 #1937

    My assessement:
    HC & GYBR- it’s too close to call between the Mofi and the SHM
    wayneklein, Sep 14, 2019 #2536

    “Same with Tumbleweed Connection, IMO. ...”
    jhm, Sep 14, 2019 #2540

    Tumbleweed Connection - This one was also very very difficult. Elton's breathing before singing is clearly heard on the MFSL and kind of disappears on the SHM. Tonally these are the same, most details are on both as well. The drums seem easier to digest and better fidelity on the SHM. I don't know, this is another tie for me.
    Tumbleweed Connection - Toss up between the MFSL and SHM. Both sound excellent.”
    Lovealego, Sep 12, 2019 #2444

    “If it’s tie, then SHM will win in the system capable to reveal the benefits of 24-bit mastering - better sound presentation and more natural sound of instruments.”
    toilet_doctor, Sep 13, 2019 #2504

    Tumbleweed Connection – Unique digital versions compared with the new SHM: Polydor, MCA 37199 (US), 95 remaster, SACD stereo, & MFSL. If previous threads were correct, the Polydor and WG/JP DJM's are the same as well as the MCA & UK DJM. This one came down to two after close listens on several tracks. First, the non-contenders. As ususal the 95 remaster was the most compressed and suffered from a distracting mid-range boost. The MCA was thin sounding and had the least amount of bass of all these masterings. It was harsh on the high end and was fatiguing at higher volumes. The Polydor added some of that bass back and was a much nicer balance. However, it was still somewhat harsh at higher volumes and lacked the smoothness of the contenders. The SACD was, sadly, compressed and difficult for long listens. However, it had a nice depth and the best channel separation of all of them. My next favorite was the new SHM. Solid bass with definition and the high end was present without being biting or shrill. This is a nice mastering. However, the MFSL is king here IMO. This disc is just wonderful. It has great bass with punch and clarity and just enough top end to be clear without any harshness. The disc has depth and great separation of instruments. This may be the best mastering of any EJ album I've heard. I've disliked some MFSL's for their common "smiley face" EQ. I just dont hear it here...they got it right. The SHM is a solid second here and then the rest drop off pretty quickly.
    Brudr, Yesterday at 2:31 PM #2746

    These [Tumberweed Connection and Captain Fantastic] surpass vs the MFSL, at least to my ears. And that’s saying something as the four MFSL sound excellent indeed.”
    Shvartze Shabbos, Aug 18, 2019 #618

    I ordered Tumbleweed and Madman. They will come together with Abbey Road Super Dlx Ed. and many others releases in a couple of weeks. So, I will get some opinion too. But in a mean time…

    Tumbleweed Connection – Best (the best digital version, slightly superior to MFSL due to its 16-bit mastering tech limitation)
  4. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    -update -

    Empty Sky – Very Good (the best digital version)
    Elton John S/T – Best (second best after SHM-SACD)
    Tumbleweed Connection – Best (the best digital version, slightly superior to MFSL due to its 16-bit mastering tech limitation)
    Elton John Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player – Best (the best digital version)
    And Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Best (the best digital version)
    Blues Moves – Best (the best digital version)
    Caribou – Good (the matter of preference: roll-off trebles of SHM vs. heavy brightness of DJM CD)
    Carlox, d.s.l. and Oyster Boy like this.
  5. Oyster Boy

    Oyster Boy Forum Resident

    @supermd you were right, The Bitch is Back is better on Caribou. Infact this SHM is the best so far of the ones I have listened to. Even though it does not have the top end crispness of the DJM, it suites my ears. The seperation is stunning and how they managed to maintain seperation on You're so Static amazed me. But they saved the best till the last but one track, Don't let the Sun go Down on me, @Bobby Morrow you were spot on on this. This is the best CD version ever, I even hear backing vocal loops around the chorus that I have never heard. They have excelled with this one. For me Caribou is the best digital version ever.
    Now onto Captain Fantastic, very tight bass and drums, subtle details (the swoosh on Bitter Fingers on the left channel for instance that both me and the missus never noticed before). At times this one takes me back to my vinyl days, but it would be a hard call to say this is better than the DJM, if I ciuld tranplant the bass and drums from the SHM onto the DJM that would be perfect.
    When I walked into the house with the box of CDs from CDJapan, the wife said "thats your life in that box", she really understands the deep love I have for them. There is only a handful of artists that I feel this way about and they are Macca/Wings, Lennon solo and Kate Bush. These Elton SHMs are really doing justice to his unbelievable body of work in those early years.
    Eska68, Jarleboy, Carlox and 5 others like this.
  6. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I loved Caribou too. I’m glad you did. I’m still ploughing my way through them all. I’ve recently enjoyed Madman and Tumbleweed. I only have the 1995 Gus remasters of these so the SHMs didn’t have to work too hard to top them.:) Still have EJ, GYBR and CF to play.

    On a side note, I played Jump Up! this morning. It was the 2003 remaster and sounded very good. I had it cranked quite loud too.
  7. Oyster Boy

    Oyster Boy Forum Resident

    Yeah, I revisited Jump Up (2003) recently and was pleasantly surprised at the SQ and how much of it I still rate highly. There is some real gold on there. Here's hoping we get further SHMs into the 80's.
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  8. Oyster Boy

    Oyster Boy Forum Resident

    I have got ES, TC, Madman, HC, GBYBR, GHV1, Blue Moves D2 and ROTW to play. ROTW should be interesting as I like the AF, find the DJM down and dirty, but have a lot of time for the 95.
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  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Didn’t get ROTW and ES. As you know, I’m not fond of the latter and I’m happy with the AF of the former. Unless someone can convince me it’s worth upgrading to the SHM.:D

    Thought Honky and GH were excellent, by the way.
    supermd and Oyster Boy like this.
  10. duneman

    duneman Forum Resident

    I only have the 2004 SACDs and while the 5.1 versions are stupendous in my view, as many have noted the stereo layer on the '04s leave much to be desired. Just received my batch of the SHMs (Captain, Honky, Madman, Piano Player) and thought, just for jollies, to compare waveforms. So - screenshot from Audacity at the Box link below.

    Top is Rocketman on the '04 and the bottom is Rocketman on the new SHM. Red lines indicate clipping. YIKES!

    Dropbox - Rocketman.png - Simplify your life
  11. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Has anyone compared GH1 and GH2 to the new Diamonds comp?
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  12. stillrockin

    stillrockin Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    Just played my Elton John self titled and it too is superb. Liked that I could really shift the volume up.

    We now are getting towards 28oo posts on this set of releases.

    MEMO TO UNIVERSAL - there is clearly a huge interest in and demand for a properly curated approach to Elton's catalogue including archival material.
  13. JamesRR

    JamesRR Trashcan Dream

    Yeah, I'm the same with certain artists. Elton, Lennon/McCartney, Paul simon...a handful I re-buy because among the vast troves of music I own, there are a few artists who just meant more to me, and esp. these early Elton albums.
  14. JamesRR

    JamesRR Trashcan Dream

    Completely agree - would love to see this series continue on, finishing the '70s with Single Man, then moving into the 80s. I know they did some SHM's of some 80s albums a few years ago, but would love them remastered like these. Particularly the mid-80s albums.
    Jarleboy, Carlox, musictappy and 2 others like this.
  15. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    @fredblue , Did you ever check out that Classic Pop special on Elton and can you say whether it’s any good or not?
  16. fredblue

    fredblue Surrounded by Music

    London, England
    which one is it again? :shh:
  17. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    This one.

    Jarleboy likes this.
  18. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Riverside, CT
    All ordered.
    I was late to this party.
  19. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    You are not late, as long they are still in print. Many people still waiting for their albums which they ordered after the initial run.
    The disease is strong... I had to order two albums for immunization.
    Please give us your impressions.
  20. OberonOz

    OberonOz Forum Resident

    Absolutely!! They should definitely remaster all the late 70s and early to mid 80s stuff at least. Id love them to do all of them, at the very least up to Sleeping With The Past. I think his 80s catalogue is woefully under-appreciated and its inexcusable that there really haven't been proper remastered/archive editions of those albums too. Here's hoping that the SHM-CD series will continue all the way!!
  21. kitt1987

    kitt1987 Well-Known Member

    I am still in the camp hoping that the sales of these releases are noticeable enough that they will definitely continue to dig deeper into his catalog for further SHM releases. Not to mention that they would somehow consider issuing SHM SACD's. However from the sound of it (no pun intended) the quality of the SHM CD's alone are probably good enough and not worth bumping up for the extra bit depth of an SACD. Who knows?
  22. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Both the MFSL and the SHM CD are 16-bit CDs, and the MFSL was not mastered in 16 bits but from the analog master tape. You can of course judge eq choices and even quality of the playback equipment, but mastering moves were not done in 16 bits for either version.
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  23. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    We are talking about converting A to D and the superiority of new equipment that affects the final product.
    Nevertheless, I'm open for correction in the next update. As I said: "subject to change..."
    What would be your version, speaking about Tumbleweed Connection?
  24. TealShark

    TealShark Forum Resident

    I went all-in on this party too a couple of nights ago after finding this thread looking for the best version of Blue Moves to get on CD (oddly enough). I'm glad I got in before they sold out (unless CDJapan's "In Stock" status was lying to me :) )
  25. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    As I mentioned earlier, these tapes were apparently transferred to 192 KHz/24 bit, which means they weren't encoded to DSD (or we'd have had something like 176.4/24 bit mentioned). As such, they wouldn't be able to make SACD files from these unless they either did the transfers again OR they went from PCM to DSD, which I hope they wouldn't do. If the don't go master tapes to DSD right out of the gate, then what's the point really? In a way, I'm relieved. I'd have loved SACDs as well but at least now I don't have to sweat whether or not the CDs I just bought will be re-issued as SACDs a year or more down the line (as they've done in the past).
    Jarleboy likes this.

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